Proprietary Sema Technologies
The web is getting smarter every day. From search engines to personal management applications, the internet is constantly evolving as an intelligent, customizable entity.
No longer is personal productivity software merely an electronic to-do list, and searching the internet for specific topics of interest no longer returns keyword stuffed articles and ads with hidden text. Semantic software is changing the way we interact with the web.
Semantic data organization originated in the 1970’s with the US Air Force in attempt to streamline the manufacturing process. Semantic data is organized in such a way that allows for the symbolic representation of real world objects, actions, and relationships. This allows for data interpreting software, a search engine for example, to utilize not only the individual pieces of data but also the relationships between them. In other words, the software can both recognize the data and interpret how the pieces of data act on each other. Given that the pieces of data represent real world objects and actions, the software’s interpretation translates into real world situations.
The concept of semantic data is better understood through examples. The following are examples of proprietary semantic technologies.
Wolfram Alpha is essentially a search engine that works in a very specific manner. Wolfram works by interpreting text written in the text box and then searching the web for pages that might contain an answer or conclusion based on what is written. For example, if one types “2+2” in the text box, Wolfram will yield the result “4” along with the word “four” and a visual representation of the number. This software is particularly useful when searching for very specific information such as “34th oldest country by median age” (the answer is Norway). Wolfram will even make assumptions if it cannot completely understand the query and will explain the assumptions it made, giving the user an option to change them. [ website ]
Bing is a Microsoft semantic search engine that works much like Google except that it is built to provide instant answers to queries. For example, if one were to ask Bing “how many counties are in NY,” the first search hit would be a page that lists counties in NY and the answer “62” highlighted. It will also give keyword-related hits, but it is optimized for answering questions and making decisions. Bing arrives at answers in a similar manner as Wolfram Alpha, but it gives a less detailed response to the query. [ website ]
Springpad is a personal organization application that provides a multitude of recommendations and ways the user can find other interesting information on their topic. Some of its more interesting features include a barcode scanner and enhanced recommendations. The user can scan a barcode using their mobile phone’s camera lens and Springpad will find other similar products, links to reviews, and allow the user to save the product for later comparison. This type of semantic optimization allows for greater organizational potential and more effective searches. [ website ]